Reconciling natural history and species ecology: myristica beddomei (Myristicaceae) in the Western Ghats, India

Chetana, H.C and Ganesh, T. (2013) Reconciling natural history and species ecology: myristica beddomei (Myristicaceae) in the Western Ghats, India. Tropical Conservation Science, 6 (5). pp. 663-673. ISSN 1940-0829

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Natural history is an important component of any ecological or conservation research. Very often this is not given adequate attention, and observations on the genera or species are often generalized to other, supposedly similar, congeneric species. In this study, we document the natural history of fruit-frugivore interactions of Myristica beddomei (Myristicaceae) found in the mid-elevation evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, India, and determine how different these interactions are compared to other Myristicaceae species. M. beddomei has a single hard seed covered by an orange-yellow aril. Species of Myristicaceae are usually dispersed by large frugivorous birds, and also by primates in the Neotropics. In South Asia, Myristicaceae dispersal is usually by large birds such as hornbills, but our observations over several years indicate that M. beddomei is not bird-dispersed, even though some fruit traits suggest bird dispersal. Our observations suggest that obligate seed predators like macaques and squirrels can facilitate dispersal of the species. We discuss these observations and explore why such outliers might have evolved in the region

Item Type: Article
Authors: Chetana, H.C and Ganesh, T.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Frugivore, Seed predation, KMTR, Myristica beddomei, Dormouse, Myristicaceae
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology > Ecology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Full Text Status: Restricted
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